The British Fire Service


Every Fire Authority in Great Britain has certain statutory functions to fulfil. They include ensuring that their area has the services of a Fire Brigade and equipment to meet efficiently all normal requirements for firefighting, and arrangements for giving advice on fire safety. In addition, a Fire Authority may employ its Fire Brigade for purposes other than firefighting. Hence, modern Fire Brigades undertake a fire and rescue role. There are 58 Fire Brigades in Great Britain, - 46 in England, 8 in Scotland, 3 in Wales and the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade.

Under the auspices of the Fire Services Act 1947 (as amended in 1959), Section 1, the Fire Authority requires that:-

(i) It shall be the duty of every Fire Authority in Great Britain to make provision for firefighting purposes and in particular every Fire Authority shall secure:

a. The services for their area of such a Fire Brigade and such equipment as may be necessary to meet efficiently all normal requirements;

b. Efficient training of the members of the Fire Brigade;

c. Efficient arrangements for dealing with calls for the assistance of the Fire Brigade in case of fire and for summoning members of the the Fire Brigade;

d. Efficient arrangements for obtaining by inspection or otherwise, information required for firefighting purposes with respect to the character of the building and other property in the area of the Fire Authority, the available water supplies and the means of access thereto, and other material circumstances;

e. Efficient arrangements for ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to prevent, or mitigate damage to property resulting from measures taken in dealing with fires in the area of the Fire Authority.

f. Efficient arrangements for the giving, when requested, of advice in respect of buildings and other property in the area of the Fire Authority as to fire prevention, restricting the spread of fires and means of escape in case of fires.